Follow me as I dive into the world that is cooking! There will be mishaps, burns and feasts as you watch my progression from college-student fare (pizza rolls and ramen noodles) to (hopefully) goddess of the hearth! I am always open to new recipes and ideas, so feel free to contact me.

July 22, 2011

Squash Casserole of Comfort and Independence!

Independence Day has always been (in my eyes) a day of grilling a ridiculous amount of meat, eating it alongside tons of other delicious things, and sweating your ass off with your friends and family.  It’s remembering those who have fought for our country and thanking them for the freedoms we enjoy as Americans.  And fireworks.

Except this year, tons of major cities in Texas canceled their usual fireworks show due to the serious drought we’re suffering.  Our town of 26,000 said, “No way, we’re having us some big ‘splosions in the sky!”  So we got to enjoy a 20-minute celebratory show of booming lights-in-the-night with our tiny community.  This is the first time I’ve ever really felt proud to live where I do.  Seeing our daring little city hold its head high and entertain the masses put a big smile on my face.

Before the fireworks though, we ate.  Then we ate some more.  I’m not usually a gluttonous person (okay I do love food and am constantly snacking), but on the 4th I gorged myself on some tasty burgers, chips n’ salsa, and some awesome squash casserole.
Though it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing of the foodstuffs, it’s definitely one of the tastiest and is a great comfort food.  You can serve this year round and it makes excellent leftovers!

Squash Casserole of Comfort and Independence!
Takes: 15 mins prep, 30 mins bake, 20 mins+ cool      Makes:  6 Servings
You Need:
  • 3 small-medium squash (I use Yellow Crookneck), chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 packaged rolls of Ritz Crackers (at least 20)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C milk or half-n-half
  • 1/4 C melted butter 
  • 3/4 C small curd cottage cheese
  • 1/4 C shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and Pepper
1.  Preheat oven to 400°.  Grease a 2 1/2-Quart baking dish and set aside.  Bring water to boil in a large saucepan.  Add squash and onion and boil until tender, 7 or so minutes.  While this is boiling, use a potato masher or your bare fists to crush up the Ritz crackers.  Make sure you leave some big chunks for crunchiness in the casserole.  Add melted butter and cheeses (you can save some of the shredded cheddar to sprinkle on top if you’d like) and stir to combine. 
2.  Thoroughly drain the squash!  This is key; otherwise it will turn out too mushy!  Mash the onion and squash in the strainer.
3.  Beat egg and milk together in a large bowl.  Add squash mixture and season to taste.  Add HALF of the cheesy Ritz mixture to the squash.  Pour into casserole dish and top with the other half of the Ritz mixture.  Top with more cheese if you’re feeling rowdy and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.  The top should be browned when done.  Cool for at least 20 minutes on a rack before consuming wholeheartedly.

This makes an excellent side to BBQ chicken or any winter meal as well. 

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